The 2020 Opening Weekend was an exciting start to the new Classics campaign, as we saw some of the favourites fighting hard on the winding Belgian roads.
Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) finally had the perfect race to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, while Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) fulfilled her promise to win her first race of the season in the women’s edition.
Wind, rain, the cobbles, the tight and twisting roads of northern Europe, and the endless short and sharp climbs put these among the toughest races on the calendar, but what can the power numbers behind these performances reveal?
We take a look at the data to find out who put in the most impressive displays of power.
Stuyven was on glowing form on Saturday (March 1) for Omloop, as he out-sprinted Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) to take his first major win since Kuurne in 2016.
Both Belgians were ultra-strong all day, as Velon reveals that Stuyven held an average of 315 watts (or 4.04 watts per kilogram) during the five hours of racing, with a normalised power of 370w owing to the relentlessly undulating course and the need to sprint out of the corners.
His rival Lampaert was able to conserve his energy better throughout the day, averaging 275w over the 200km race (or 3.67w/kg) and still making it into the final selection.
Lampaert himself put in a massive performance in the final stages, as he launched a significant attack on the Muur van Geraardsbergen to break up the leading group, holding 575w for 1-01 to cause a rift in the leaders.
After the tough day in the saddle, with an average speed of 39.3km/h, Stuyven still needed a huge boost of watts to beat Lampaert, hitting a 1,410w maximum in the 14-second sprint to the line.
In the women’s race, unfortunately Van Vleuten doesn’t upload her power data, but she took three QoMs on the day, including setting the fastest time on the 17km-long Finale Omloop 2019 segment.
Floortje Mackaij from Sunweb was one of the strongest contenders on the day, as she attempted to follow Van Vleuten on the Muur van Geraardsbergen but just couldn’t hold on to the world champion’s wheel.
The Dutchwoman held 346w for the 3-41 duration of the 1km Muur segment and then went on to maintain 241km for the final 17km segment, taking second on the Strava leaderboard behind Van Vleuten.
Britain’s Lizzy Banks (Bigla-Katusha) was also a fantastic performer on the day, finishing sixth.
She held 218w for the 3-55 of racing and hit a maximum power of 922w.
On the Muur, she held 343w to crest the climb in a personal best time of 3-45.
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